Industrial and farming wastes have choked rivers, lakes and wetlands with chemicals dangerous to human, animal, and plant life. Sewage and oil spills have stained coastal waters, making them unfit for swimming and fishing for long periods. Rapidly growing populations, particularly in the Middle East and Africa, have caused the fresh water supply there to dwindle to the point that it promises to disappear within the next few years. In this book, Dolan examines the serious problem of water pollution in both fresh and salt-water bodies throughout the world and describes what is being done about it. His last chapter, "Can You Be of Help?" suggests ways for young people to become involved. The text is clearly written and full of examples that will resonate with young adult readers. Color photographs would have provided greater impact. Includes bibliography, black-and-white photographs, and an index.
Do you really need another book on water pollution? If this is the book, then yes. Dolan presents very complex problems in a most readable and enticing manner. Global problems involving contamination of rivers and wetlands, increasing demand on ground water, and poisoning of seas all are discussed with vivid descriptions of specific locations. The hydrologic cycle is explained, but technical terms and scientific principles are kept to a minimum. Population increases, industrialization, and agricultural needs demand more water, yet are resulting in a dwindling supply of uncontaminated fresh water. As expected, the author does present a call for action. But the reader is encouraged to get information, look for bias in sources, and adopt a balanced point of view for solutions to providing for our future needs. Suggestions for further study are given in the bibliography. This book will be welcomed by students and teachers looking for specific facts and examples of water pollution with an emphasis on the social and political considerations, rather than the scientific analysis of pollution. Index. Biblio. VOYA Codes: 5Q 3P M J S (Hard to imagine it being any better written, Will appeal with pushing, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8, Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9 and Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
Gr 7 UpDolan presents factual evidence that the purity of fresh and salt waters everywhere is being threatened by the needs of a growing worldwide population. After an introduction to the hydrological cycle and aquifers, he cites some grim statistics and examples of water pollution and overuse. The death of the Aral Sea in the former Soviet Union, due to the divergence of its feeder rivers for irrigation and the use of pesticides, is a stark reminder of how development can rapidly cause unforeseen environmental degradation and human misery. Endangered wetlands, dams, oil spills, and sewage and garbage problems are all explained. These serious situations are followed by a more hopeful discussion of legislation that has been passed to keep waters clean, conservation efforts and activities, and organizations that young people can join to protect water resources. While the lack of photographs is unfortunate, this overview does provide an extensive and up-to-date bibliography and is a good starting point for further research.Janet Woodward, Franklin High School, Seattle, WA
Early on in this excellent examination of the state of one of the earth's most important resources, Dolan (Our Poisoned Sky, 1991, etc.) warns readers not to take on faith doomsday scenarios, and later reminds them that the not-yet-hopeless fight for clean water requires a lifelong commitment. In between, he outlines the tolls of irrigation, salinization, and the burning of fossil fuels (leading to acid rain); he discusses the depletion of aquifers, the ruining of the great European riversthe Elbe, the Danube, and the Rhine, which have become open sewersand the Everglades, the US's most threatened wetlands. Dolan spells it all out, without making more sordid than necessary the contributions of greed, stupidity, and unrestrained population growth to the damage. Balanced and objective, this is a good overview of an impending global calamity, driven more by statistics and common sense than fear.